It's Time Texas: July 25, 2012

Proper rest is vital to a strong healthy body. However, most of us are not getting the recommended amount.

Running, swimming, working out; in order to get healthy for these types of activities, you need sleep.

Sleep specialist Dr. Salim Surani said people do not get enough shut eye.

The lack of sleep is like, we borrow the money from the bank, we have to pay it back," Surani said.

Surani has studied sleep for 12 years, toured the world with his findings and treatment, and even produced a movie helping teenagers develop better sleep habits.

"If we do not sleep, we can not function good," Surani said. "Our memory is not that good. Our grades get affected. Our performance at work goes down."

Chronic lack of sleep as we get older can lead to heart attack, increased blood pressure and diabetes.

"70 million Americans are suffering from some sleep-related problems," Surani said.

He also said 40 million people have continuous problems, like insomnia or breathing-related issues. The rest suffer from intermittent troubles like stress at work, or studying for an exam.

Most doctors agree that adults need eight hours of sleep, and teens need nine and a half. Also, keep distractions like televisions and laptops out of the bedroom.

"'Ah, it helps me fall asleep,'" Surani said. "That's not true. The bedroom is for sleeping."

If you exercise, do so several hours before sleep. Surani warns to stay away from caffeine late in the day, and no alcohol before bed.

"What it does is make you fall asleep, but it causes fragmented sleep," he said. "So you go to bed, but then you're awake intermittently all night."

For a restful night of sleep that prepares you, Surani said have a good mattress and pillow, and develop routine, scheduled sleep.


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